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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Those N95 masks from Temasek

Temasek announced 2 weeks ago that as part of its corporate social responsibility, it was giving away 3 N95 masks to 1.2 million household as well as more to charity homes.

This has got to be the most ill conceived public relation exercise. I don't know which idiot in Temasek came up with the idea of giving away N95 masks to all Singaporean. I suppose the idea behind it is sound but the whole exercise smacked of a failure to plan and think through the process and idea behind it.

1) Why 3 masks when the average household size is 4?
2) And why all households when those more affluent households can afford them?
3) Are these masks part of the stockpile that the government has built up and is distributing now because they are near its expiry date?
4) Why now of all time when there is no haze in sight?

Frankly while I appreciate the gesture, I think it was really not necessary for Temasek to give to every household. I can afford to buy the masks but I know there are many other who can't. Likewise, I am sure those people staying in private properties can afford to pay for them. 

Instead of giving 3 to every household, what Temasek should have done is to send more to those more needy household. Maybe using room size as a guide - say 3 rooms and below. Additional stocks can be given to charity, resident committees, town council, resident committees and community centres to hold and distribute to those who ask for them. That way there will hopefully be less wastage.

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